Microscopical Society of Southern California
2009 Meeting Program


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Weds January 21, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

At this meeting, our speaker will be Wayne Moorhead from the Orange County Crime lab. Wayne has been a forensic scientist for over 20 years.  His talk is entitled, "How to Teach Microscopy-Methods and Practice." This talk was first presented at the Inter-Micro conference in 2008.  The following is the abstract and description provided for the conference. "Because many non-forensic instructors of science consider criminalistics and forensic science simply as an application of their science while others view forensic science as edutainment, and rarely do they have an understanding of the philosophy, application, and comprehension of the difference between forensic science and their particular science, a high school instructor teamed with a practicing forensic scientist to develop a year long high school curriculum representing a realistic criminalistics course.

The presence of stereo light microscopes (SLM) and biological light microscopes (BLM) presented several good opportunities: (1) to teach students to use microscopes; (2) because most schools have microscopes; (3) learn practicality of physics theory on light and optics; (4) microscopes require the user to observe and critically think about their analysis; (5) acquire a variety of analytical skills at the microscopical level; and (6) to easily convert BLMs to polarizing light microscopes for chemical microscopy.

The course was designed for the college bound high school science student who had already taken biology and chemistry. Students followed the six foundational concepts of criminalistics with an emphasis on observation, documentation, and communicating, the essential aspects of microscopy as well. Laboratories were developed based on skill set building, critical thinking and problem solving. Constant feedback, particularly of unanticipated irregularities, meant instant revisions in content. At the end of the semester, in addition to a comprehensive written exam, students were required to use all of the skill sets taught to date, write a final report on their analyses with inclusion of data, provide a courtroom presentation poster, and testify about their work."

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Weds February 18, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

We do not have an invited speaker this month. Instead, MSSC Program Chair, Ken Gregory will be presenting one of his 3D shows featuring the anatomy of several of the bodies moveable joints (Jaw, shoulder, elbow, fingers, hip, knee) and in addition some images of the eye in its eye socket (muscles, nerves, blood vessels). 3D glasses will be provided as usual. If any of our members have any stereo discs of travel topics or animal topics, bring them along and we can project a few of such images.

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diatomWeds March 18, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

There will be two presentations this month. First, MSSC president, Jim Solliday will give an illustrated talk on the best methods for photographing diatoms. His presentation will focus on the techniques and methods to use. Before deciding which type of camera (film versus digital) to use, one first needs to select the correct objective and contrast technique. Images will be exhibited to contrast and compare achromat versus apochromat type objectives. The respective advantages of using bright-field, phase contrast and/or DIC will be discussed.  Jim will also touch on some useful tools offered by digital image manipulation software, such as stacking techniques. This presentation will equip you with the knowledge you need to take high end, beautiful images of diatoms through the microscope. 

The second presentation will be provided by MSSC Vice-President, Prof. Stuart Warter, who will share some of his latest images taken in the field, including some of his spectacular bird pictures. Stu will also be showing images of a very unusual antique Pillischer microscope that was featured on the Antique Road Show TV program. 

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Weds April 15, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

At this meeting, our speaker will be Dr. Jack Green, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, CSU Long Beach.  Dr. Green's talk is entitled, "Galapagos volcanism as related to lunar protolife." Volcanic features such as fumaroles are thought to be capable of containing the ingredients of protolife. The Galapagos has volcanic features similar to some found on the moon. The floors of several lunar calderas exhibit dark mounds which could be buried fumaroles. Comparison of similar earth and lunar geology may suggest that lunar volcanism could favor the evolution of Precambrian ingredients for protolife. Dr. Green's presentation will be via lantern slides projected with a vintage lantern-slide projector, an instrument in MSSC member, Ken Gregory's collection. An even more antique slide projector will  also be on display. Come see how scientific presentations were made before the use of 35 mm slides and PowerPoint.

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Weds May 20, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

The Pond Life program is undoubtedly one of our best attended and most exciting meetings! Members are strongly encouraged to bring pond water, ditch water, fountain water or anything that lives in water. Microscopes, illuminators and pipettes and tools to play in the water are required.(Extra microscopes are always a good thing to bring for guests to use.) Check out the amoeba to the right, courtesy of www.micrographia.com.

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Weds June 17, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

This meeting will not be a talk on microscopy, but rather one on natural history, adventure and science.  The presentation is entitled, "Archaeology of the Golden Mountains: Stone Art (Petroglyphs) from Central Asia" and we will be taken on a spectacular journey to one of the most remote places of Siberia.  Follow an archaeologist as he packs up the mules and heads out into the rugged wilderness in search of evidence of Pre-historic man.  We will get a first hand look at the wildlife, geography and ancient history of the splendid Altai Mountain region of Central Asia.  There will also be a summary of the latest theories that attempt to explain the mysterious Petroglyphs found in abundance all over the region.  This program will include some extremely
picturesque slides. 

After the slideshow, MSSC member, Edwin L. Jones, Jr, will show the latest in his line of Arranged Sand Grain Microscope Slides. In this one, Ed spells out "Coastal Marine Biolabs" using twenty different sand samples collected from around Southern California.  This is his largest slide to date in terms of number of letters and sand grains used. The first letter in his arrangement uses fossils from approximately 500,000 years ago that were collected half a mile inland. Other letters are made either from sand samples collected by divers, or sand collected by Ed himself from California beaches.  Each grain of sand is selected under a stereomicroscope and mounted using fine forceps.  It is a delicate and timeconsuming process - the sand grains are fragile and easily damaged when manipulated.  All of the samples on this slide are from Southern California and include foraminifera, ostracods, gastropods, pelecypods, minerals, echinoderm spines, bryozoa, teeth and diatoms. 

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Weds July 15, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

MEETING CANCELLED, see you in August

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Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

Please note to accommodate our speaker, this meeting will be on Saturday, August 8 instead of the usual third Wednesday of the month.

At this meeting, we are very pleased to have as a special guest our friend from Germany, Dr. Timo Mappes discussing Antique German Microscopes. Dr. Mappes was in attendance at the member-only Saturday morning workshop on August 1, where members had the opportunity to present their own European microscopes to Dr. Mappes for his expert opinion. In this follow up meeting, Dr. Mappes will discuss in detail the history, development and features of the European microscope. 

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Weds September 16, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

This month we will be hearing from MSSC Educational Chairman, Alan deHaas.  Recently there has been much debate and confusion over the interpretation of science and how it is applied to the real world around us.  Alan will address a few of these issues and hopefully, provide the “thinking” person's perspective.  The title of the talk will be "Silly Theories, Improper Data and Absurd Conclusions  OR  Real Science in the World Interest." Alan will discuss carbon dioxide, the ozone hole, uniformitarianism versus catastrophism and AIDS.  While this sounds strange, they do all fit under the same heading. That of having the required information available but still coming up with the wrong approach to a problem. 

For the second half of the evening a few images of interest will be projected. 

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Weds October 21, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

This month, we are very pleased to have as our special guest speaker Brian Matsumoto from University of California Long Beach. Mr. Matsumoto's presentation entitled, The Adoption of the Digital SLR for Photomicrography will focus on the transition from film to digital photography. He will discuss both the positives and negatives of using SLR for photomicrography. The talk will cover the following topics:

1. Digital camera concepts
Sensors, CCD, CMOS and MOS
Digital sensor and resolution
Digital sensor and Nyquist
Digital sensors and Color

2. Comparison between Dedicated Scientific CCD cameras and Digital SLRs
Advantages of Digital SLR
Disadvantages of Digital SLR

3. Problems of using Digital SLR
Mirror bounce
Disadvantages of a color sensor using a Bayer mask

4. Methods of focusing Digital SLR
Right angle finder and using the optical finder
Live view preview
Live view preview coupled with software to a computer
Desirability of articulated LCD screen
Direct attachment with PMF Nikon adapter

5. Methods of eliminating mechanical vibration of digital SLR
Copy Stand
Direct attachment with simple tube adapter
Mirror lockup
Shutter Speed

6. Live view camera--Panasonic G1--

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Weds November 18, 2009 at 7:00pm, New Roads School (map)

This is the annual Exhibition Meeting of the Society. This is one of the best events of the year and is a great deal of fun. Each member is encouraged to bring along an exhibit to share. Anything associated with microscopic subjects is welcome. Your exhibit could be simple, for example you could set up your microscope with your favorite slide.

A projector will be provided for those bringing 35mm slides. Posters and display boards are also encouraged, along with the usual sales table. Please remember to bring a label or piece of paper with a brief description of your exhibit.

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No December meeting, instead the MSSC Holiday Banquet, December 13, 2009 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Earth, Wind and Flour Restaurant

The Holiday Banquet is set for Sunday, December 13th 2009.  Come and celebrate the completion of another wonderful year with fellow MSSC members.  The gathering will be at the Earth Wind & Flour Restaurant, 2222 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403. Phone 310 829-7829. Please bring cash as there will be no individual checks. Dinners are about 10-20 dollars depending on what you order from the menu. 

Please rsvp to MSSC President, Jim Solliday if you plan on attending. jlsolliday @ roadrunner.com.

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